GoChip is for the dogs

Plus, a party, a podcast, and a profile.


Welcome to this week’s Midweek Memo, brought to you by Switchboard. In this issue, there’s a must-watch podcast featuring the Kulea team, an anniversary for Kano, a piece by Flytographer’s Nicole Smith, and plenty more.

Now, onto today’s briefing. It’s 1,078 words, a four-minute read.

P.S. This is actually my last newsletter. I’ve taken on a new role and will be moving on from the Tech Journals team. It’s all very bittersweet. But, today, I’m feeling an emphasis on the latter. For the last year, it was really sweet that you dove into what I was trying to provide. I hope it was as much fun for you to read as it was for me to write, which was — I must say — a lot! I have been blown away by the community here and know that it is poised to do great things. Thank you for your support of yours truly and Victoria Tech Journal at large, and I’m looking forward to passing the newsletter writing over to Emily.

Photo credit: Alexander von Kaldenberg / LinkedIn

Reimagining the relationship between people, pets, and cities. That’s the promise of GoChip, a Victoria-based animaltech firm. The company makes hardware and software to revolutionize animal identification and provide effective tools for animal tracking, disease mitigation, and digital licensing. Every animal has a story and GoChip technology tells it — because healthy animals, the company says, make healthy communities. 

“When free-roaming dogs in a community are healthy and cared for, the entire community can’t help but benefit,” founder Alexander von Kaldenberg wrote on LinkedIn. “It’s not just about the morality of animal welfare. Yes, a healthier dog, free of pain and disease, is typically a happier dog. But for communities, a healthy dog is also a safer dog. Canine rabies, in particular, is a huge problem in many places around the world.”

According to the World Health Organization, rabies causes almost 60,000 human deaths a year. The majority of those are children between five and 14 years old. Ninety-nine percent of all human cases are transmitted by dog bites, yet rabies is 100 preventable with a vaccine.

So if rabies is vaccine-preventable, why has it been so hard for communities to control it, von Kaldenberg wondered? Unfortunately, sometimes vaccines and veterinary care are just not available in an area, but more often, the problem lies with the inability to track vaccination data, he found. 

“With no way to track the vaccination status of dogs, communities often resort to culling,” von Kalenberg pointed out. “This is not only a cruel and inhumane practice that leaves people and surviving animals traumatized. It has also proven to be completely ineffective in controlling rabies.”

The only sustainable and long-term solution has proven to be mass vaccination campaigns, but that opens a new challenge of how tell a vaccinated dog from an unvaccinated dog. As the saying goes, von Kaldenberg joked, there’s an app for that! Technology is the only sustainable and long-term solution to track a dog’s vaccination status and manage data for thousands of dogs.

“As an animal lover, I believe every dog matters. But it’s the interconnection between healthy dogs and healthy people, especially children, that drove me to start GoChip Animal Technology. Because when the dogs win, everyone wins.” 

Recent wins are not just present for the pooches. GoChip has been featured in the Times of India for its work in the country.


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📰 More Victoria innovation news

✊ We the people…: In a recent Chamber Chat podcast, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO Bruce Williams spoke with Kulea team members about the Colourful Business Expo, their kitchen and culture cooking classes, programs to address racism, and more.

📈 Don’t call it a comeback: Former Tech Journals senior editor Nathan Caddell caught up with Flytographer’s Nicole Smith to detail how her company went from 100 to 0 and back again.

🎂 I woke up early on my born day: Local gaming company Kano celebrated its 15th birthday.


Join TAP Network on November 16 for an overview of their 2023 Tech Salary Survey results. Mercer experts will discuss key findings, industry trends and the impact of current market conditions on tech sector salaries. 

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